#AtoZChallenge ‘O’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘One Perfect Rose’ by Dorothy Parker #NPM17 #CarrotRanch

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.

Today I offer you One Perfect Rose by Dorothy Parker and One Perfect Rose by Luccia Gray.


One Perfect Rose

A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet –
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
‘My fragile leaves,’ it said, ‘his heart enclose.’
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose. 

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

This poem is taken from her first book of poetry, Enough Rope (1926).

Although this poem is on a much lighter note than Anne Sexton’s, Dorothy Parker, who was known for her sharp, scathing wit, was also plagued by depression and suicide attempts.  

One Perfect Rose is both humorous and sad. Perhaps the narrator is a materialistic woman, or perhaps she just expects more. What’s wrong with a rose? There’s nothing wrong with a rose, unless you’re expecting something else, which is what is more clearly stated in my poem below. Perhaps the narrator would like more commitment from her boyfriend, or a less of a traditional approach perhaps to their relationship.

In my poem, what the girl would like is a ring, not because it’s more expensive or fancy, although that too, but because it shows there’s a commitment. A rose is ephemeral. It’s pretty but it dies in a few days, and there’ll be nothing left. It’s not a symbol of permanence or stability like a ring, for example.


Today I’ve also added a third challenge, Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch, weekly Flash Fiction Challenge based on a 99 word prompt. This weeks’ prompt is write about ‘a ring’, which is the subject of my poem today, although it’s called ‘One Perfect Rose’


One Perfect Rose (After Dorothy Parker) by Luccia Gray

‘I found a perfect gift,’ he said.

He gave me a pretty card, which read,

‘This gift is almost as lovely as you.’

I still didn’t have a clue.

I wondered what he had in mind,

Although I knew my love was blind,

I was hoping for a ring at last,

My happiness, it was so vast!

I’d wear it on my finger proudly.

I extended my hand slowly,

And he showed me one perfect rose.

I sighed and looked down to my toes.

‘Don’t you like the rose?’ he asked.

‘It’s not what I had in mind,’ I barked.


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Published by LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

10 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge ‘O’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘One Perfect Rose’ by Dorothy Parker #NPM17 #CarrotRanch

  1. Happy Poetry Month Luccia! Great idea to combine A-Z and National Poetry Month. Before I read your analysis and your poem, I came up with a different analysis of Dorothy Parker’s One Perfect Rose. Yes the limousine can be a symbolism for being materialistic. But I saw it as a symbolism of economic stability. Anyone can pick a flower and in this case he gave her one flower. Pretty cheap if you ask me. Or that’s all he can afford (still it’s the thought that counts).

    But a limo just says I’m rolling with the kind of dough that’ll take care and provide for you.
    Plus consider the time it was written. In 1926, three years before the Great Depression. From 1926-1927, there had been a minor recession but maybe Ms. Parker had the sense of things to come.

    Either the way, the flower is her reality while the limo is her fantasy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the idea that the flower is her reality and the limo the fantasy, but I still think DP is perhaps poking fun at women who rely on men too much and maybe are materialistic. You’re right, the context was difficult, but she was a feminist…As all wonderful works of art, it’s susceptible to various interpretations.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dorothy Parker and her ever-sharp tongue, I adore! I think in both poems there is that element of expectation that if the man loves, he must provide. A woman is free to like a limo, ring or rose, but it’s that expectation that can lead to disappointment. And you end your version on the harsh tone with the word, “bark.” If only we could appreciate the roses more! I am enjoying these poetry comparisons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charli💖 I’m having fun too writing! Both ladies are quite materialistic, but I think my lady is more modern and assertive than Dorothy Parker’s, that’s why she ‘barks’ 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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